Local Coach Headed to Olympics

By: Sam Lane Email
By: Sam Lane Email

Tallahassee, Florida- July 2, 2012

Neil Harper has been to the Olympics multiple times in his swimming career. He'll be in his native country when the torch is lit for the 2012 summer games.

"I'm going as a past Olympian, as a coach, hopefully as a coach for some of our athletes that will be there, and just a fan of the Olympics. It's a win-win for me and a win-win for everyone."

Harper swam for Great Britain in the 1984 and 1988 games, and coached athletes at the games in Sydney and Athens. This trip will have a more familiar feeling.

"The actual Olympic stadium is only about three miles away from where I originally grew up. Hopefully the British people will do it proud, the weather will be good hopefully."

Harper will have one swimmer to coach while in London. Mateo De Angulo was selected to swim for his country of Columbia at the games.

"You're in front of 17, 18 thousand people. Most of the time your biggest meets you swim in front of, seven, eight hundred at the most. It's a phenomenal experience and you just really have to soak it in because I got caught up. My race strategy wasn't too good my first time around."

One piece of advice he will give him, use the experience of swimming in college to his advantage.

"Part of it is just trying to have a professional attitude. I think that the fact that the NCAA swimming is such a high level that a lot of people that will make the U.S. Olympic team, have had experience."

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